The five lakes make up nearly 95 percent of the United States' surface fresh water, clearly the source at the top of everyone's list. Those who live in the basin watershed—the areas which feed and drain into the lakes and are directly affected by the lakes' health—have drafted an international treaty with the Canadian provinces which also stand in the basin. The compact is designed to protect the water and prevent another Aral Sea disaster, but its outcome is still uncertain. Lawmakers in Wisconsin continue to squabble over where to draw the basin line and threaten to derail the entire agreement in the process.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.